Annual Eighth-Grade Dessert Dance Celebrates Students Transitioning to Upper School

Spencer Burton, Head of Middle School
The Annual Eighth-Grade Dessert Dance celebration took place on the evening of Saturday, May 18. Eighth graders stand in front of their parents and peers to receive personal tributes from their teachers.
These tributes are the centerpiece of the evening and serve as the best type of reward we could pay our middle school students as they prepare to transition to the Upper School - an affirmation of their strengths, an encouragement to live into their God-given abilities.

Our young people live in a world that often communicates in 140 characters or less. What is communicated is often full of vitriol, frequently masked in humor. Our culture so rarely speaks meaningful, good words to one another. Yet, we are charged to do this throughout scripture. These words alone are all packed into  1 Thessalonians 5.. encourage one another and build each other up...acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you….encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone….always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.  What a privilege to be counter-cultural and force them into accepting tribute - our payment - to each of them.  It was one of the most rewarding scenes of the year to witness, as a tribute was read, the child’s countenance went from reluctance to acceptance to surrender and we saw, if only for a moment, their smile, as they recognized that they, too, were aware of the good work that the Lord has been up to in them.

Another highlight of the event was the annual slideshow, comprised of hundreds of photographs submitted by parents, students, and faculty that captured both our life together over the past two years, but the changes in each child from their earliest years.  Each baby or toddler photo was met with shrieks of delight from peers, and a tear or two from each parent. For faculty, sitting in the back, it was a powerful reminder of how precious the trust is given by each family - to shepherd their children through these middle years, and to feel a great sense of joy in having been a part of their development as they are on the cusp of their upper school years.  By the end, many teachers wiped away a tear or two as well. What a privilege to be a part of a school - a community - in which we so fully and fearlessly celebrated these wonderful image bearers who have prepared to take the next, great step along the path God has charted out for them.

The Covenant School

Birdwood Campus | Lower School | Pre-K–Grade 5 |
1000 Birdwood Road Charlottesville, VA 22903 | 434.220.7309

Hickory Campus | Middle and Upper School | Grades 6–12 | 175 Hickory Street Charlottesville, VA 22902 | 434.220.7329
Located in Charlottesville, VA, The Covenant School is a non-denominational, private, Christian day school for Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, visual and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.